Secret Agent Clank
|a game by||High Impact Games, LLC|
|Platforms:||PSP, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.3/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Ratchet Games|
As a series, Ratchet and Clank has stood the test of time in being a favorite among PlayStation loyalists. From its first title in 2002, to the latest reimagining in 2016, a dynasty of humorous and clever games has come from the several developers it has had, namely Insomniac and High Impact Games. With every great video game series, however, come entries that will spark furious debate among its fans. For Ratchet and Clank, that entry is Secret Agent Clank. Though it was generally well received when it released on the PSP, there was a large level of backlash once it was ported to the PS2, but it would be a stretch to say all of its problems started with the port.
Join The Agency
This entry in the Ratchet and Clank series is similar to others in gameplay, being similar to the Spyro series for the platforming elements, it’s story is a bit more innovative.
The entire premise of Secret Agent Clank is that it takes place in a fictional universe within the game, where Clank works for an entity only known as The Agency. Secret Agent Clank’s story and humor are what carry this title for me: Clank is sent to the Boltaire Museum to stop a robbery in progress, only to find out that the thief is Ratchet himself. It is then left up to Clank to prove Ratchet’s innocence somehow, with his only lead being the elusive adversary, The Kingpin.
There are several interactions and progressions in the story I found enjoyable, mainly the humorous chemistry that exists between Ratchet and Clank being flipped as Ratchet is framed. I also found that spoofing the James Bond series of films was a great complement to the many gadgets that already exist in the series. Overall, the only real issues that I had with the narrative came down to some jokes being overplayed and that the story wasn’t especially well developed by the end. Ratchet and Clank titles are not built for gripping narratives, but I was still left wanting a bit more considering previous titles and their ability to use comedy to bounce between stages.
Save the Solana Galaxy
There are two aspects of Secret Agent Clank that cause it to falter in an otherwise strong series. The first is that the gameplay can get a bit old even in the short playtime that it takes to complete. It does not add many new features compared to past titles but keeps all the core elements that made the original games enjoyable. Secret Agent Clank is worth playing if you’re a fan of the series and its platforming/puzzle solving portions. Controls are fluid and responsive, enemies are fun to destroy as Clank, Ratchet, and Qwark, and the puzzles are satisfying to solve.
Playing as Clank makes up most of the game and his levels are acceptable (though unreasonably difficult to stealth for a game spoofing James Bond), but the sections with Ratchet and Qwark, while entertaining, grow stale a bit quickly.
The combat could have used a bit more polish. Least importantly, though still notable, is that the PS2 port of the game is poor at best. The resolution is off and the controls are a bit tougher because of it, which makes a lot of the good aspects of the PSP version essentially meaningless outside of the writing.
Hardcore fans of the series will still get a kick out of the writing and design of this game at a baseline, but even they will come away mildly disappointed when comparing it to past games.
It is just as refined as past entries but lacks unique aspects that makes it worth playing comparatively.
- Good writing/dialogue
- Well built world, connected with Up Your Arsenal
- Easy to get into, streamlined controls
- Port is not unplayable, but makes experience worse
- Dialogue/world are interesting, but story is lackluster
- Minigames and combat get repetitive, uninteresting